The church I grew up in always reminded me of what the inside of Noah’s Ark must have looked like. It’s wooden paneling and large curved structure resembled the inside of a ship. The rectangular stained glass windows in muted shades of greens and browns let in light from the outside. The floors under the red padded pews were wooden. Thus the church would really echo if you weren’t careful.
One particular Sunday morning my sister and a friend was setting in the pew behind my mom and I. Much to the chagrin of my mother I’d kicked off my shoes at some point in the middle of the service. As the organ pumped the last hymn I looked down and couldn’t find my shoes anywhere. At first I thought, it had to have been my sister who took them, so I turned around to glare at her, but they didn’t seem to be there. I started to panic. Two shoes don’t just get up and walk away. I knew I’d be in trouble with my mother if I had to walk out of service barefoot. Finally as the final chords of the doxology played my sister and her friend could no longer contain their giggles. Their laughter was now echoing in the small church, and as the final chords died down, it was revealed she’d taken my shoes when I kicked them off. But she didn’t just take them, she’d hidden them in the hymnal shelves in the back of the pew so I couldn’t find them.
Often times in our spiritual walk we try to get comfortable and we allow ourselves to be vulnerable for things to happen. We have to stop being so complacent and wake up! 1 Peter 5:8 (New King James Version) says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” The definition of vigilant is to be watchful, alert, and on guard for danger. I am not saying my sister was being the devil, but what I am saying is that we have to start paying attention in the arena of the spirit. We can’t just assume it’s okay to get comfortable. We have to be on alert.
My dad who was a grunt soldier in Vietnam always says that the best time for an ambush on the enemy is early in the morning. It is because your adversary isn’t paying the attention they should, and their thoughts are usually far from the battle. You are a child of the must high God and the devil is trying to see how he can mess you up. The devil wants to lull you to sleep so that your life will have no real meaning to the kingdom of God. Let’s face it folks, there is a spiritual battle going on and we are right in the middle of it. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
How do you stay sober and watchful? You pray. You stay sensitive to what God is saying. You obey His voice when He tells you to do something. Be like Nehemiah a watchman on the wall. Seeing ahead and praying. Don’t just let the devil mess with you, remind Him that the Jesus’ inside of you defeated Him at the cross. James 5:16 says, ”Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
We are living in exciting days in the kingdom of God. There is a real battle going on in the heavenly realm and we have the ability to affect it. Wake up! Stand your ground! Don’t grow so comfortable that the enemy can sneak in and steal your destiny. You have a battle to fight, and the great news is the battle has already been won! Be on alert and see that God is good!